Police searching for missing toddler Madeleine McCann are still hopeful that she may yet be found alive as the investigation into her disappearance continues.
Detective Chief Superintendent Mick Duthie, the head of Scotland Yard’s homicide squad, said that work was “ongoing” into the hunt for Maddie and that there was hope that she would still turn up.
His comments come just weeks after Home Secretary Theresa May granted police another £95,000 to extend the search for another six months.
Search: Experts examine an area near Praia da Luz last October. (PA)
He said: “There is always a possibility that we will find Madeleine and we hope that we will find her alive.
“That’s what we want and that’s what the family and the public want and that is why the Home Office continue to fund it. There is work that needs to be done still. “
Operation Grange was launched by Scotland Yard in 2011 after Portuguese police called her halt into the search of the five-year-old, who vanished from the Praia da Luz holiday resort in May 2007.
Investigation: The McCann’s released a new photograph of their missing daughter (Facebook)
Police have investigated and interviewed various suspects in that time, taking over 1,338 statements.
The Home Office reduced the number of detectives working on the enquiry to just four last year but Detective Duthie believes the investigation may yet carry on into next year - the tenth anniversary of Maddie’s disappearance.
He added to the Evening Standard: “I imagine that if we have not completed our inquiries within six months we will go back to the Home Office and ask for more money.”
A spokesman for the McCanns said: “Kate and Gerry remain incredibly grateful to the officers working on Operatin Grange and to the Met in general.
“They have always said that in the absence of any evidence that would suggest that Madeleine has come to serious harm, it is perfectly logical to believe that their daughter may still be alive.”
Top pic: Rex